Glieberman won't walk away

New Renegades owner Bernie Glieberman (left) and son Lonie -- the new Renegades president -- hold...

New Renegades owner Bernie Glieberman (left) and son Lonie -- the new Renegades president -- hold up jerseys following a press conference yesterday at the Crowne Plaza to announce their return to Ottawa as owners of a CFL team. (SUN/Sean Kilpatrick)

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

Divine or league intervention?

One - or both, it would seem - will be required to keep the Renegades going in 2006.

But at least for the first time, Renegades owner Bernie Glieberman has acknowledged that it'll take help from his partners in the CFL to keep the team alive.

Speaking to the Sun yesterday, Glieberman indicated he's willing to burden a portion of team losses during the upcoming season and will not leave the league in a lurch by outright walking away from the foundering club.

And, while he wouldn't provide a figure on the amount he's willing to sink into the operation, Glieberman also said it's up to the league and the other eight teams to fork up the rest to keep the Renegades alive.

"I am going to try everything possible and explore several options to make sure there's a team in Ottawa," Glieberman said yesterday from his family retreat near Petoskey, Mich.

"I made a commitment when I got there at the beginning of the (2005 season) and I'm going to do everything in my power to make things work, and I'm willing to put money into it, at a reasonable level."

Glieberman will meet with CFL commissioner Tom Wright tomorrow afternoon in Toronto and a lawyer representing Renegades minority owner Bill Smith, who will not finance the team in 2006.

SUSPEND OPERATIONS?

The meeting will give the league its first indication of how much Glieberman is willing to back up his claim of helping out for the upcoming season.

Governors of the eight other teams must then decide whether it's in their best interest to put the Renegades on life support until new ownership is established, or perhaps fold the team.

There's also discussion of a suspension of operations for the 2006 season while an ownership search takes place.

Time is a critical factor, with the CFL draft in one month, training camp scheduled to begin in nine weeks and an exhibition game between the Renegades and Alouettes set for Halifax on June 3.

Clubs would need to know soon if the Renegades were to cease operations, in order to make changes to scheduling and travel arrangements.

Glieberman made recent attempts to find somebody to buy the team.

He spoke with American businessman Glenn Staub, but the Florida entrepreneur wasn't interested.

Lonie Glieberman, the owner's son, stepped down as president of the Renegades earlier this month, a move that provided his father a reason to abandon the team.

The league will hold a conference call with team governors on Tuesday to update the situation.

COULD LOSE $5 MILLION

It's estimated that the Renegades could lose some $5 million to operate this season, and governors need to know how much of that Glieberman would be willing to take on.

The effect of folding the Renegades on league deals with sponsors and broadcast rights holders would also be discussed.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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